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The dust mass in Cassiopeia A from a spatially resolved Herschel analysis

De Looze, I., Barlow, M. J., Swinyard, B. M., Rho, J., Gomez, H. L. ORCID:, Matsuura, M. ORCID: and Wesson, R. 2017. The dust mass in Cassiopeia A from a spatially resolved Herschel analysis. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 465 (3) , pp. 3309-3342. 10.1093/mnras/stw2837

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Theoretical models predict that core-collapse supernovae (CCSNe) can be efficient dust producers (0.1–1.0 M⊙), potentially accounting for most of the dust production in the early Universe. Observational evidence for this dust production efficiency is however currently limited to only a few CCSN remnants (e.g. SN 1987A, Crab nebula). In this paper, we revisit the dust mass produced in Cassiopeia A (Cas A), a ∼330-yr old O-rich Galactic supernova remnant (SNR) embedded in a dense interstellar foreground and background. We present the first spatially resolved analysis of Cas A based on Spitzer and Herschel infrared and submillimetre data at a common resolution of ∼0.6 arcmin for this 5 arcmin diameter remnant following a careful removal of contaminating line emission and synchrotron radiation. We fit the dust continuum from 17 to 500 μm with a four-component interstellar medium and supernova (SN) dust model. We find a concentration of cold dust in the unshocked ejecta of Cas A and derive a mass of 0.3–0.5 M⊙ of silicate grains freshly produced in the SNR, with a lower limit of ≥0.1–0.2 M⊙. For a mixture of 50 per cent of silicate-type grains and 50 per cent of carbonaceous grains, we derive a total SN dust mass between 0.4 and 0.6 M⊙. These dust mass estimates are higher than from most previous studies of Cas A and support the scenario of SN-dominated dust production at high redshifts. We furthermore derive an interstellar extinction map for the field around Cas A which towards Cas A gives average values of AV = 6–8 mag, up to a maximum of AV = 15 mag.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QC Physics
Uncontrolled Keywords: ISM: supernova remnants { supernovae: individual: CassiopeiaA { ISM: dust { infrared: ISM
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 0035-8711
Funders: ERC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 18 November 2016
Date of Acceptance: 1 November 2016
Last Modified: 05 May 2023 06:57

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